The News Matrix: Saturday 3 May 2014


Pfizer raises bid for AstraZeneca

The US firm Pfizer has raised its offer to take over UK company AstraZeneca in an attempt to pay lower US taxes by having its headquarters in Britain. A former Pfizer executive has previously admitted the disastrous impact of such moves. MORE

350 die as landslide buries village

Rescue workers were desperately searching for survivors after a landslide buried a village in north-eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 350 people. Another 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on Hobo Barik following  days of heavy rain. MORE

Network Rail to cut bosses’ bonuses

Network Rail has announced plans to cut bonuses for top bosses and limit these to 20 per cent of their salaries. The news comes after the bonuses were heavily criticised when the company lost an appeal, in January, in a case where a 10-year-old was badly injured on one of its level crossings, in 2010.

Hundreds of migrants land

An Italian ship brought nearly 1,200 people to the Sicilian port of Augusta as Italian officials sounded the alarm over the rising tide of migrants trying to enter Europe.  Most boats come from Libya carrying migrants from Africa and 20,500 have arrived so far this year.

UN calls for death penalty ‘moratorium’

The UN Human Rights Office has described the suffering of US death row inmate Clayton Lockett during his botched execution in Oklahoma this week as “cruel and inhuman”. UN spokesman Rupert Colville called for an “immediate moratorium” on the death penalty.

Cancer teen Stephen home from hospital

A teenage cancer patient who has raised over £3m for charity as he thought he was about to die last week has been released from hospital. Stephen Sutton, 19, was visited earlier by David Cameron at Queen Elizabeth’s hospital in Birmingham.

Monkeys stolen from Blackpool Zoo

Five critically endangered species of monkey have been stolen from Blackpool Zoo in what police described as a “planned and pre-meditated” break-in. Thieves cut a hole in the perimeter fence and removed the locks from two separate monkey enclosures.

Elderly rely on TV or pet for company

Nearly half of all elderly people describe their TV set or their pet as their best company, according to a new report. The study from Age UK also stated that half a million elderly people describe themselves as lonely “often” or “all the time”.

Picasso Museum  reopening delayed

The reopening of the Picasso Museum in Paris, which owns the world’s largest collection of his works and documents, has been postponed from 21 June until mid-September. The artist’s son, Claude Picasso (above), protested yesterday over the delay.

Separatists shoot down helicopters

The Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “extremely concerned” by the reports of pro-Russian groups shooting down Ukrainian helicopters, and urged Russia to reduce tensions in the region. The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting.

Briton may have executed prisoner

A British citizen fighting in Syria is believed to have committed a war crime by taking part in the execution of a prisoner. A video that has been made public shows a rebel fighter, thought to be from London, firing a weapon repeatedly into a man who has his hands bound.

BBC ‘should sack Jeremy Clarkson’

The deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman has called for Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked over his use of the “n word”. She said that anybody who uses the word “in any context” should have no place with the broadcaster.

‘Simpsons’ turned into Lego images

The Simpsons has been reimagined in Lego for Sunday night’s episode in the US. Using computer-generated special effects, the town of Springfield and its residents have been turned into images the style of the plastic toys. There is also newly launched Simpsons Lego toy line.

The way to win at rock-paper-scissors

A new study has shown that the  best way to win at rock-paper-scissors is to stick with your action.  Losers were found to switch  actions in the sequence game, and scientists say that anticipating  these moves could give you a winning edge.

The perfect cuppa  is a steal at £7,000

A machine that costs £7,000 is said by its manufacturer to make “the perfect cup of tea”. The Craft Brewer, from US firm Bkon, can make more than 60 cups of tea in an hour in a process called atmospheric infusion, using a brewing chamber with loose tea leaves.

Fish start to fly as warehouse explodes

A fire in a warehouse on the east coast of Sweden caused cans of fermented fish to explode and fly through the air. Reports said the building, near the town of Enaanger in the Hudiksvall region, went up in flames with 1,000 tins of soured Baltic sea herring inside.